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Renters (Reform) Bill – overview Part 2


Following on from yesterday (17 May) publication of the Renters (Reform) Bill and Part 1 of my overview of what the Bill does, onwards to the rest of it…

Pets! There has been a lot of fuss about this, but as Tessa Shepperson has sagely observed, it doesn’t really make much of a change to existing law. The Bill adds an implied term that the tenant has a right to request to keep a pet and that the landlord cannot unreasonably refuse such a request. Where the landlord’s own lease forbids pets, or requires the superior landlord’s consent, the landlord is to request this. It is not unreasonable for a landlord to refuse permission if their superior landlord had refused consent, or if the landlord’s own lease forbids pets.

The landlord can require the tenant to take out insurance against damage from the pet, or require the tenant to pay the cost of the landlord taking out insurance. This is exempted from the Tenant Fees Act 2019

The definition of a pet – doubtless to be litigated – is an animal kept by a person mainly for:

(a) personal interest,
(b) companionship,
(c) ornamental purposes, or
(d) any combination of paragraphs (a) to (c);

I have no idea what ‘personal interest’ extends to, but look forward to the arguments over ‘ornamental purposes’.

Statement of Terms and other information – the landlord will be required to give the tenant a statement of terms before the start of the tenancy. Details of this requirement will be set out in regulations.

Tenant notices to quit. These have a period of two months (or less if specifically agreed with landlord). Tenant NTQ can be given at any time. Reversing the usual common law position, the tenant NTQ may be withdrawn if tenant and landlord agree in writing to the withdrawal.

Removal expenses under section 11 HA 1988 – only registered providers will have to pay tenant removal expenses after a possession order on ground 6 or ground 9.

On homelessness, section 195A Housing Act 1996 (duty to offer accommodation following re-application after private sector offer) is to be dropped. Presumably on the basis that there will be no 12 month AST to offer in discharge of duty, and no s.21 ending that tenancy to give rise to a re-application as homeless within two years.

Tenancy deposits. Obviously the sanction of not being able to serve a section 21 notice if the landlord has not complied with the tenancy deposit protection requirements will be no more. There are new sanctions in a new section 215 to Housing Act 2004.

With the exception of grounds 7A and 14, the court may make a possession order:

Only if “the tenancy deposit is being held in accordance with an authorised scheme.”

Or only if “such requirements of the scheme as fell to be complied with by the landlord on receiving the tenancy deposit have been complied with (whether or not within the period mentioned by section 213(3)) in relation to the tenancy deposit.” This is the ‘initial requirements of the scheme’ provision, but it appears that the 30 day limit for doing so is disapplied, so late compliance may enable a possession order.

Or only if “the requirements of section 213(5) and (6)(a) have been complied with.” – Provision of Prescribed information, but the 30 days limit for provision of the PI is not engaged. So again, late compliance is possible to enable an order for possession.

These requirements do not apply if the deposit has been returned in full or with agreed deductions, or if a section 214 claim has been determined, withdrawn or settled. The provisions on ‘replacement tenancies’ are to be removed, as replacement tenancies will broadly cease to exist (as will multiple breach deposit claims).

The other current requirements for service of a valid section 21 notice – the EPC, ‘how to rent guide’ and gas safety certificates – do not get any equivalent here.  It remains to be seen what, if any, penalties or restrictions for non-compliance will be brought forward, or if the requirements will simply pass away with assured shorthold tenancies. For the gas safety certificates at least, that would seem short sighted if so.

Unlawful eviction – civil penalties by Local Authorities are introduced for unlawful eviction under section 1 Protection from Eviction Act 1977 as an alternative to prosecution for the offence. A maximum of £30,000. This is a good move as it will hopefully result in a more enthusiastic response by LAs to unlawful evictions than the complicated, expensive and uncertain route of prosecution, which in any event usually resulted in a slap on the hand by a Magistrates Court.

‘Meaning of residential landlord’ – on the face of it this is a rather odd part. It defines – for the purposes of the part – a ‘residential landlord’ as the landlord under a relevant tenancy of a dwelling in England that is not social housing. But the purpose of the part is enable regulations to be made that may alter the definition to include a superior landlord where the tenancy is a sub tenancy, may specify particular kinds of tenancies or licenses, or vary the meaning of dwelling. My best guess is that this is preparatory to regulations that will address ‘rent to rent’ set ups, after Rakusen v Jepsen. But we will have to see.

Further parts permitting subsequent regulations to be made are those addressing Landlord Redress Schemes and the Private Rented Sector database.

The redress scheme, once set up, will be compulsory for all landlords or landlords to be. Failure to be a member will result in a civil penalty of up to £5,000 levied by the LA, or a criminal offence if continued or repeated breach, with a further penalty of £30,000. The redress scheme will provide for independent investigation of a tenant or prospective tenant complaint. Decisions may be enforceable as if a court order.

The private rented sector database (trailed as the ‘portal’) will likewise be compulsory for all landlords and prospective landlords. Entries will be potentially be available to the public, at least in part, subject to regulations. Again, there will be a civil penalty by the LA for non-compliance, criminal offence for continuing or subsequent breach, and additional civil penalty of up to £30,000.

Obviously, the regulations will be key for both of these. But in principal this is a nationwide landlord register.

There is a lot of areas of enforcement by local authorities. A duty to enforce the landlord legislation in its area is imposed on the LA. However, it can also take enforcement action on a breach that occurs outside its area! If so, there is a duty to notify that area’s authority. There may be a lead enforcement authority – regulations to follow.

And finally, before looking at the transitional provisions, the Secretary of State must prepare a report within one year on government policy on standards of safety and quality for exempt supported accommodation and for Part VII Housing Act 1996 temporary accommodation.

The Act will apply:

For any new tenancies on or after the commencement date.
For existing tenancies ‘on or after the extended application date’ which is at the expiry of the existing fixed term, or on a date to be set out in regulations.

However, if there is an extant section 21 notice served before the ‘extended application date’, the tenancy will remain an AST until proceedings are either concluded or time barred.

Rent increases made before the ‘extended application date’ on the basis of a tenancy agreement clause remain valid.

Conduct that could give rise to a financial penalty or offence under new 16E (letting on a fixed term, serving NTQ, reletting property after possession on grounds 1A and 1B etc) will not do so after commencement for existing tenancies prior to the ‘extended application date’.

The tenancy deposit provisions do not apply to an existing tenancy that before the ‘extended application date’ was an assured, rather than assured shorthold, tenancy.

The ‘long lease’ provision will come into effect two months after the commencement date. The illegal eviction civil penalties provision will come in on a date to be given by the Secretary of State.

And there we are… No considered reflection from me yet, just working through it was more than enough. But the new and varied grounds of possession looked at in Part 1 clearly need further thought and work.

Some things that have been promised are clearly not in this Bill as it stands. The explanatory notes say this:

The private rented sector white paper committed to address these challenges for both landlords and tenants through legislation, including abolishing section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions and reforming landlord possession grounds. It also committed to:

a. require privately rented homes to meet the Decent Homes Standard, with the intention of giving tenants safer, better value homes and improving the appearance of homes in local areas;
b. make it illegal for landlords and agents to have blanket bans on renting to families with children or those in receipt of benefits – to encourage landlords to make decisions about who to rent to, based on individuals’ circumstances; and
c. increase councils’ investigative powers and introduce a new requirement for councils to report on enforcement activity – with the aim of helping councils and government better target criminal landlords.

The government is carefully considering how to implement these policies and intends to bring forward legislation at the earliest opportunity within this Parliament.

So the Decent Homes Standard, outlawing benefit claimant or children blanket bans, and more on council’s enforcement powers are yet to come.

Of those, making Decent Homes an enforceable standard is the most intriguing (and difficult), both as to the standard and also who enforces it and how.

It is going to be a very interesting period…

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.


  1. Al Mcclenahan - Justice For Tenants

    Wonderful work as always Giles.

    I’m glad they haven’t included the DHS yet, as I think more time is needed to work out how to make minimum standards that are reasonable, applicable to all types of current housing stock, easy to enforce and (relatively) unambiguous to identify when a property is failing the standard.

    One thing that I thought about this bill is that it is paving the way for more legislation related to it. You mentioned the “resident landlord” definition, which I also thought was likely to be a way to address Rent-2-Rent (considering the harm it causes, the pace it is growing, and the inability for current legislation to deter it). I also note there are mechanisms to include more statutory duties on local authorities to enforce. I would expect DHS to be one of those, and it would not surprise if the same may apply to Gas Safety Certificates.

    I’m glad the bill has come out overall, but I am also glad that they moved forward with what they could, with ways to add later parts when they are mature, rather than rushing in out with errors.

    • Giles Peaker

      They’ve had quite a long time to work on it! Yes, lots more to come, as I suggested at the end, let alone the substantial regulations needed for many of the parts.

      We’ll have to see on enforcement of DHS, and also on gas safety certs. Not sure the latter s=are suitable for LA enforcement.

      • Richard Cherry

        Given the HSE enforcement of gas safety offences is so woeful as to be non-existent (which is a fact that was urged without success to the Court of Appeal in Trecarrell) the LA won’t be any worse. I doubt they would be better either. But the great canard IMHO is that the s21 ban is ‘ancillary’ to the criminal provision. If that had been true there would of course have been no need to try (ineptly) to press s21 into service to enforce Regs 36(6) and (7).

    • David

      I’m confused by the formula in ch1 1 (5). Does this mean that the rent for each month must be different, depending on the number of days in the month?

      • Giles Peaker

        Erm, no – it is a way to arrive at a monthly rent where the rent specified in the tenancy is of a period over 28 days, but not monthly.

  2. Ben Reeve Lewis

    The residential landlord bit is of great importance to me and the Safer Renting crew. only 9% of our considerable rent to rent caseload is the landlord a resident one, as opposed to 58% where it is a property management company. This bit seems to tie into the frankly daft and naive assertion of the NRLA that rent to rent scams are perpetrated by lone wolf tenants

  3. Ben Reeve Lewis

    AAAAND (Yes feelings are running high). What exactly is the point of a PRS DHS when there is the Housing Act 2004, the HHSRS and the Homes (fitness for human habitation) Act?

  4. Alex

    I’ve only read through your 2 emails once, but these changes are horrendous.

    What we need in this country is a complete paradigm shift away from the Medieval mindset of landowners and non-landowners – basically, gentry and peasants. It is a complete abuse of power.

    If a property owner decides to rent out some residential property then he has decided to rent out that residential property. Full stop. He has effectively assigned temporary ownership of the property for the period of its occupation to the tenant.

    The landlord should only be able to end the tenancy in very specific circumstances; I would suggest:

    – persistent rent arrears
    – damage to the property
    – serious anti-social behaviour.

    Landowners should not be able to have such a massively damaging impact on the lives of other, non-landowners. If they don’t want to rent out their residential property to another person for them to live in and make a home, then they shouldn’t rent it out. End of. Either leave it empty OR SELL IT.

    If they want to sell the property while occupied then they will have to sell it with the tenant in situ.

    This is the only way to give [decent] tenants any sort of security. This lack of this security for tenants is a MAJOR factor in the problems our society faces.

    It’s not rocket science. It’s just the rich wanting to have power over the poor.

    And so we are back to the entirely Medieval mindset. POWER OVER OTHERS.

    Rant over 8-)

    • Tim Taylor

      Totally with you, however it has actually been most interestingly suggested to me before that actually peasants had more security of tenure in feudal times than they perhaps do today. Even if they did not pay rent due to their local Lord, they have have been subject to various forms of sanction or opprobrium, but rarely if ever dispossessed from the denied land. Certainly not just because the market conditions might have changed and the Lord thought he may be able to extract higher rent from another tenant.

      In any case what truly gets me about the new grounds 1/1A is that they speak of abolishing “no fault” eviction and yet grounds 1/1A do not in fact pertain to any type of “fault” or otherwise anything within the control of the tenant. So how exactly has no fault eviction actually been abolished? I mean just think about it: what actual motivations would typically underlie a S21 claim? How diverse can the motivations really be? OTTOMH it seems like it would really only be:

      * want to move in
      * want to sell
      * want to raise rent
      * don’t like the tenant, perhaps because they have arrears, but for whatever reason maybe protected against S8.

      Is there really anything else? When you ire-implement reasons 1&2 as grounds of Sch2, what has really changed? It seems to me rather not much.

      • Alex

        Exactly. There is no fault on the part of the tenant if the owner / owner’s relative wishes to move in, yet the tenant can still be evicted = no fault eviction.

        It’s just like when the Government REDEFINES what an AFFORDABLE home is.

        George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm have very much become reality in 21st-century Britain.

        • Tim Taylor

          Hi Alex,

          Out of interest, did you receive any email notification of my reply? In any case please feel free to get in touch with a kindred spirit at

    • Tim Taylor

      And yeah, if it’s wrong for a property owner to evict a tenant due to no fault of their own, what difference does it make if it’s them or their family who wish to move in or another buyer or tenant? If one rents a property to another to let them make it their home I say they can sell it with a sitting tenant or wait until the tenant wishes of their own accord to leave to sell it on. As for relatives moving in, I also don’t see the detriment to the landlord’s interests either. While the tenant remains, they are getting rent which they could just as easily use to rent another place for their daughter or soon as they could expel the tenant to cease getting their rent and have their child live their for free. What is it about landlords getting a chance to live in their own property that is apparently seen as so sacrosanct? Either buy property as a home or as an investment but you shouldn’t be allowed to have your cake and eat it to at the expense of people’s residential stability. Arise, ye tenants from your slumber! Devout, le forcat de la faim.

      Or something like that… Anyway who’s gonna build the guillotines? Where’s the mighty Quinn?

      • John-Paul

        The “use the rent to rent somewhere for themselves/a family member” fails to consider that the rental income is taxed and the landlord has a repair obligation on the let property.

        “Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions”, which includes their property.

        • Alex

          @John-Paul, in quoting Article 1 Protocol 1 you conveniently omitted the 2nd sentence:

          “No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law.”

          I would argue that it is very much in the public interest for people not to be made arbitrarily homeless by their landlords.

          Moreover, simply construct legislation so that tenants have the indefinite right of residence. It just needs a complete change of attitude by Parliament – which is full of landowners, so it won’t.

          Renting out residential property comes with obligations. If a landlord does not like those obligations, don’t rent out the property: leave it empty or sell it. Don’t exploit it as a power imbalance against the more vulnerable.

          At the end of the day there is simply too much vested interest, so there won’t be any change until people demand it. Then we’ll be in a French Revolution situation.

          Plus ça change 8-)

        • Tim Taylor

          Surely they wouldn’t want their son or daughter to live in an un maintained property so that’sa non starter in my eyes. As is… boo hoo hoo, taxes on unearned/passive income.

    • Malcolm Jennings

      Property is my business , I expect to run my business as I see fit meeting the required safety standards. If you don’t like the terms, find alternative accommodation. I’ve worked hard for my assets and intend to fully enjoy the fruits of my labour . We live in a capitalist society.

      • Tim Taylor

        👍 Tell that to the parliamentary bribe takers, nobody else much cares, but perhaps guillotines shall one day await your lovely likes.

        • Giles Peaker

          And with this stupidity, you are blocked.

      • Alex

        “We live in a capitalist society.”

        We *USED* to live in a capitalist society: that all changed with zero interest rates and the printing of unfathomable amounts of money (“quantitative easing”) in order to prevent the housing bubble from bursting. Those are axiomatically anti-capitalist actions. You would struggle to find anything more anti-capitalist.

        They are also hyper-inflationary (just ask Weimar Germany or Zimbabwe), hence why we are now starting to see persistent high inflation in Western economies: there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

        And inflation is bad. Very bad. *ALL* inflation, *INCLUDING* property price inflation – no matter what politicians or economists might lead you to believe. Just look at the strikes over pay we are seeing.

        Capitalism is by definition Darwinian, but Governments around the world went to extreme lengths to prevent that much-needed Darwinism running its course.

        But as Herb Stein famously once said, “if something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”

        High interest rates are the only solution to high inflation, which in turn will inevitably burst the property bubble (as they have twice been thwarted in doing since the turn of the millennium). Maybe then we’ll have a paradigm shift in our attitude towards property.

        But I think it will require something seismic to do so.

        Hyperinflation led to World War II, so hold on tight.

  5. Josh

    I do wonder if the portal will be used in part to enforce the 3 month re-letting ban in Grounds 1/1A? ie the system flags up any dwellings which have been possessed under those grounds and then are subsequently let…or maybe I’m being an optimist.

    • Giles Peaker

      No indication that the portal will require any such information.

  6. chief

    Clause 23, which defines “residential landlord” and allows the SoS to amend that definition for the purposes of that Part is within Part 2, along with landlord redress schemes and the private rented sector database – they’re all the same Part. The Explanatory Notes specifically mention rent-to-rent and that the regulations will “clarify the position”. This is about including R2R landlords in the redress scheme and database.

    • Giles Peaker

      Yes, and potentially other measures in regulations.

  7. AM

    the decent standard is going to be an issue with landlords with substantial stock who are PR providers to councils where they are reliant on them for accommodation…

  8. J.Graham

    I thought the Bill was going to exclude purpose built student accommodation further to the White Paper and a pre-bill parliamentary Q&A?

  9. Leonard Payne

    I’m interested to see what effect this has on the area of Exempt Supported Accommodation where Care, Support or Supervision is supplied. There is other legislation currently in the House of Lords. The Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Bill is expected to become law this autumn and I wonder what is added by this Renters (Reform) Bill. Any thoughts given when there is no tenancy agreement but a “Licence to Occupy”?

    • Giles Peaker

      Most exempt supported accommodation are tenancies and will be caught. But there are specific grounds of possession for exempt accommodation – see Part 1.

  10. Andrew Hansard

    A lot to still be worked out but the £30,000 civil penalties LA can issue may be the answer to getting proper LA tenancy enforcement if it can become self sustainable or even profitable for council’s to do.

  11. Alex

    OK, well here’s a suggestion.

    Don’t make ANY changes to the housing legislation other than one small amendment to section 21: the landlord has to pay all the tenant’s costs in securing a new tenancy and relocating.

    If one other words, if a landlord wants to arbitrarily attempt to make someone homeless, they have to cover the costs of ensuring that the person is not arbitrarily made homeless.

    Simples, as someone once said.

    • Alex

      In other words.

    • Alex

      In short, if the landlord wants to arbitrarily chop and change tenants, make them pay for the privilege.

      DECENT landlords would have nothing to fear from this change…

      See “Occam’s Razor” 8-)

    • Alex

      On reflection I can see one small drawback to making things simpler for tenants: it would mean less work / necessity for residential property solicitors.

      I guess that would therefore present something of a conflict of interest for any residential property solicitor wanting to comment on this suggestion?

      • Giles Peaker

        Ah, Alex. I’m afraid this kind of asinine comment is what leads to steps to stop you wasting my and everyone else’s time.

        First, you will find that a lot of landlord and tenant lawyers, myself included, have and continue to call for the simplification of housing law. It is ludicrously complicated. (And we can always find other things to do!)

        Second, why would there be a conflict of interest where it is something these hypothetical lawyers would have no control over anyway? I’m not sure you understand what conflict of interest actually means.

        And lastly, this is usually an accusation raised by someone who has come up with a bloody stupid idea, against those who have correctly pointed out it is a bloody stupid idea. If patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, accusations of conflict of interest are the last refuse of someone with no better argument.

        You will have to excuse me, but the comment sections on this site are not really the place for sixth form pontificating.

  12. Alex

    I see that student landlords are worried about the proposals to scrap fixed-term tenancies ( Sarah Black is one such landlord:

    “Ms Black said she would normally rent to a group of friends for a 12-month period but under the planned changes if one tenant decided to stay on in the property, this could block another group from moving in.”

    Is that how tenancy contracts work? If a group of people rent a property, are they not jointly and severally liable for the tenancy? In other words, do they not all have to agree to continue renting the property, or all have to agree to end renting the property?

    Ms Black also comes to the false conclusion that this will lead to fewer properties for students:

    “Ms Black said that if issues with the bill were not resolved she would consider selling her properties.”

    “The more landlords that leave, the more that the supply, which is already very, very tight, is going to go down,” she said, adding that this would lead to increased prices for students.

    If a student landlord sells their property, the property isn’t demolished. Another student landlord could purchase it, or an academic institution could purchase it to accommodate its students. It never ceases to amaze me how people with vested interests / ideologies are always ready to use fear tactics and come out with manifestly illogical statements to try to justify their views.

    What it does mean, however, is that student landlords will no longer have the guarantee of rental income for the full 12 months, so their asset will produce a lower yield – ie it will be worth less.


    That is what Ms Black is really worried about: not having such a high income from such a highly (over-)valued asset – the student market has been very lucrative for landlords since New Labour massively expanded the number of people in higher education. The poor students just end up in huge debt to line the pockets of the rich landowners – almost like we were again living in medieval times.

    (Hmmm… where have I heard that before?)

    I can see that there are issues with student accommodation. My suggestion would be for the wording of the bill to be changed so that it doesn’t refer to “purpose-built student accommodation” but to “accommodation owned by academic institutions”. Much more simple and much more targeted.

    In other words, there will be a disincentive for private landlords to service students, reducing their market (and thereby LOWERING rents) and likely leading to universities, etc owning the accommodation in which their students live – it would clearly be far better for countless reasons for university students to be housed in accommodation owned by their university.

    So restrict the student provisions in the legislation to accommodation owned by academic institutions provided to their students.

    Again as someone once famously said: simples.

    Or as someone else famously said: “keep it simple, stupid”.

    • Giles Peaker

      “Is that how tenancy contracts work? If a group of people rent a property, are they not jointly and severally liable for the tenancy? In other words, do they not all have to agree to continue renting the property, or all have to agree to end renting the property?”

      No, that is not how it works. A joint tenancy can be ended by any one of the joint tenants, regardless of whether the others wish to end it.

      It would help if before commenting at length, you revised the basics of landlord and tenant law.

      • Alex

        “No, that is not how it works. A joint tenancy can be ended by any one of the joint tenants, regardless of whether the others wish to end it.”

        Thanks Giles, that is precisely the point I was trying to make: “do they not all have to agree to continue renting the property?”

        In other words, if all tenants don’t agree to continue the tenancy (ie just one tenant wishes to end the tenancy) the tenancy ends, so Ms Black was completely wrong in saying that one tenant could block the ending of a joint tenancy:

        “Ms Black said she would normally rent to a group of friends for a 12-month period but under the planned changes if one tenant decided to stay on in the property, this could block another group from moving in.”

        Sorry if I wasn’t clear, but thank you for clarifying the basics of landlord and tenant law.

        • Giles Peaker

          OK. While I agree the main motivation for private sector student landlords is the potential loss of summer rent, rather than the prospect of ‘overstayers’, I think your conclusion that a reduction in supply of PRS student lets will lead to lower rents is, shall we say, based on faulty logic. Demand isn’t reduced. So, rents will simply rise to include the risk of loss of summer rent, or rents will rise due to reduced supply.

        • Alex

          Yes, I agree: demand won’t drop. That is, demand for student accommodation won’t drop.

          But supply of non-student accommodation will increase if these landlords are no longer renting to students, so rents will fall in the non-student market.

        • Giles Peaker

          Given the current state of overall supply, that seems doubtful.

        • Alex

          Maybe. But the house price bubble meant there was less pressure on landlords to fill their properties – because they just magically rose in “value” anyway without the landlord having to do anything.

          It will be interesting to see what happens to rents when house prices stagnate for an extended period, or even start to drop.

        • Giles Peaker

          There were/are no great numbers of properties left empty by landlords ‘because house prices were rising’. There will be no drop in rents from house prices stagnating.

        • Alex

          OK, well I remember seeing a documentary on TV a while ago which reported there were 1 million empty residential properties in this country.

          But my point is that there is no great pressure on landlords to fill empty properties if house prices are continually rising, but that will not remain the case if propery prices aren’t constantly rising.

        • Giles Peaker

          There are about 238,000 in England. Not left empty by landlords, because landlords require income from their properties, not just incurring costs while watching gains in equity.

        • Alex

          The show I saw reporting 1 million empty homes in Britain was from ~10 years ago:

          And this House of Commons Briefing Report from October 2020 says there were 648,000 empty homes in England, of which 225,000 were classed as long-term empty:

          If you’re saying there are now 238,000 classed as long-term empty then the number has risen by 5% in under 3 years.

          The bottom line is that there are LOTS of empty homes in this country, so clearly the owners don’t need rental income from them and can just incur costs while watching rises in equity.

        • Giles Peaker

          Seriously? You think these are landlord properties? Mostly properties screwed up in intestacy or delayed probate. And there are over 4 million private tenancies in England. Long term vacant are a drop in the ocean, and not landlords waiting on price rises. I’m afraid that is just silly.

        • Alex

          “Seriously? You think these are landlord properties?”

          I am just going by my recollection of the Channel 4 programme which, yes, as I recall said that there were 1 million empty homes in this country which were available to be rented out but were not being when there was no reason for them not to be.

          But if they are not being rented out then, no, by definition they are not landlord properties – the owners don’t need rental income from them and can just incur costs while watching rises in equity.

        • Giles Peaker

          Your recollection is wrong.

        • Alex

          Maybe. But I don’t seem to be able to find anywhere to watch the programme again to check.

          But let’s take a single case study: Oxford.

          According to this article, there were 230 people in Oxford either sleeping rough or in temporary accommodation:

          While according to the Council there were 640 long-term empty properties:

          So supply really does quite significantly exceed demand, but the supply is being restricted (homes being left empty) so the actuality of the situation is that you end up with the reverse: demand exceeding supply.

          So instead of rents falling, rents rise.

          And consequently house prices rise.

          And clearly the owners of these empty homes don’t need the rental income from them, but are benefitting from the rising equity value.

          (Second homes, etc obviously have a similar effect on restricting supply and inflating rents and house prices – history teaches us that bubbles are self-reinforcing. Until they burst.)

          But it seems that the UK is not the only country in Europe with a problem of housing costs:

          The bottom line is that we don’t have a cost of living crisis in this country.

          We have a cost of housing crisis.

          Wipe out housing costs and there is no more crisis.

          But then the rich wouldn’t have any power over the poor.

        • Giles Peaker

          No, supply doesn’t exceed demand. Asserting that on the basis of homeless figures v vacant properties is, well, sixth form debating again, because it simply ignores everything else around housing demand. And I’m sorry but I do not have the time, the patience, or any obligation to provide you with a basic education. Nor is this blog here to provide you with a platform for asinine assertions, when you can’t even be bothered to do any research.

          Bye Alex.

        • James

          I think what Alex was saying is that there are more than enough homes in this country to house everyone but that there are so many empty homes, second homes, AirBnB properties and so on that not everyone can have a home.

        • Giles Peaker

          I know that is what he is saying. The problem is that it is simply wrong.


  1. Debt news - 21 March 2023 · Debt Camel - […] Renters (Reform) Bill – the good, the potentially good and the ugly. Part 1 Nearly Legal: housing expert’s views:…

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